Washington Post Death Spiral Watch (Yet Another Jonathan Weisman Edition)
I had written:
Grasping Reality with Both Hands: The Semi-Daily Journal Economist Brad DeLong: And, of course, nothing would be complete without yet another Jonathan Weisman special. Jonathan writes:
Obama's Symbolic Importance | The Trail | washingtonpost.com: In his closed door meeting with House Democrats Tuesday night, presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama delivered a real zinger, according to a witness, suggesting that he was beginning to believe his own hype. Obama was waxing lyrical about last week's trip to Europe, when he concluded, according to the meeting attendee, "this is the moment, as Nancy [Pelosi] noted, that the world is waiting for." The 200,000 souls who thronged to his speech in Berlin came not just for him, he told the enthralled audience of congressional representatives. "I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions," he said, according to the source.
It turns out that Weisman was burned by his source.
On Wednesday morning, House leadership aides pushed back against interpretations of this comment as self-aggrandizing, saying that when the presumptive Democratic nominee said, "I have become a symbol of the possibility of America," he was actually trying to deflect attention from himself. No tape of the event exists and no one is denying the quote. But one leadership aide said the full quote put it into a different context. According to that aide, Obama said, "It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign -- that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It's about America. I have just become a symbol."
But even though burned, Weisman continues to guard his source's anonymity--thus saying, "Burn me again!" Please! Soon! I don't publish enough lies!"
Robert Waldmann has sharp eyes, and notice that Jonathan Weisman lies yet again when he says "no one is denying the quote." There is an important difference between:
I have become a symbol...
I have just become a symbol...
Here is Robert:
Note that Weisman's version of the quote which no one is "denying" are inconsistent. According to the second person quoted by Weisman, the first elided the word "just" and Weisman typed it up without an ellipses. That is not distorting meaning by removing context, that is falsifying a quote. Amazingly, Weisman still claims that the contested quote is not contested. He thus shows his utter contempt for journalistic standards (which I don't share), and for punctuation...